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Mol Brain. November 3, 2011; 4 40.

Regulation of chemotropic guidance of nerve growth cones by microRNA.

Han L , Wen Z , Lynn RC , Baudet ML , Holt CE , Sasaki Y , Bassell GJ , Zheng JQ .

The small non-coding microRNAs play an important role in development by regulating protein translation, but their involvement in axon guidance is unknown. Here, we investigated the role of microRNA-134 (miR-134) in chemotropic guidance of nerve growth cones. We found that miR-134 is highly expressed in the neural tube of Xenopus embryos. Fluorescent in situ hybridization also showed that miR-134 is enriched in the growth cones of Xenopus spinal neurons in culture. Importantly, overexpression of miR-134 mimics or antisense inhibitors blocked protein synthesis (PS)-dependent attractive responses of Xenopus growth cones to a gradient of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, miR-134 mimics or inhibitors had no effect on PS-independent bidirectional responses of Xenopus growth cones to bone morphogenic protein 7 (BMP7). Our data further showed that Xenopus LIM kinase 1 (Xlimk1) mRNA is a potential target of miR-134 regulation. These findings demonstrate a role for miR-134 in translation-dependent guidance of nerve growth cones. Different guidance cues may act through distinct signaling pathways to elicit PS-dependent and -independent mechanisms to steer growth cones in response to a wide array of spatiotemporal cues during development.

PubMed ID: 22051374
PMC ID: PMC3217933
Article link: Mol Brain.
Grant support: DA027080 NIDA NIH HHS , GM083889 NIGMS NIH HHSWellcome Trust , 085314 Wellcome Trust , WT085314 Wellcome Trust

Genes referenced: actl6a bdnf bmp7.1 ctrl dnai1 kit limk1 mapk1 mtor

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